The Tragedy of Kelly Thomas
The following video contains disturbing imagery - especially at the 3:48 minute mark. I'm going to ask you to go beyond your normal boundaries and watch it anyway because this happened to a fellow human being. Perhaps if we can bring ourselves to cry, vomit, or react in some uncomfortable enough way, we will do something to stop this.
The schizophrenic man's name was Kelly Thomas. He wasn't being violent. He wasn't hurting anyone. This fatal beating was his punishment for being mentally ill. What punishment did the offending cops get for being morally ill and murdering him? Nothing. A jury let them off.
When I look at Kelly's battered face, all I can see are those awful, bloody tampons in his nose. They are so much like the ones I had in my nose when I had that posterior nosebleed during pregnancy. I can't shake the image in my head of these two cops beating this man so badly that the artery in the back of his nasal cavity broke. And that's not the worst of his injuries apparently. I can't shake the sound of him screaming "Help me!" and the thought of him screaming for his father. This is going to haunt me the rest of my life because one day it may be me.
Let that sink in, those of you who know me. There is no reason why this can't happen to me. If my medication stops working and someone calls the police, they may beat me to death or shoot me in my living room. Who will punish them? No one, apparently. Why? Because I'm mentally ill and, apparently, I deserve what I get.
Let that sink in, those of you have friends and family members who are mentally ill or have autism. There's no room in the world for us where the cops and juries are concerned. We're in the way. We're a liability. It's ok for us to be murdered.
We failed Kelly Thomas. We failed Keith Vidal. We've failed countless other unnamed people.
If this video won't convince us to protect the mentally ill, then I don't know what will.